Discover our History

Our mission is to initiate programmes led by Syrian women that protect Syrian women and girls across socio-economic backgrounds, and empower women to find their political voice and participate in building a new, peaceful Syria that respects and safeguards equal rights for all its citizens.

Established in 2016

Syrian Sisters

The Syrian Sisters group has provided a wealth of opportunities and actives for its members and the wider community.

The women have had mother and baby English lessons, done Yoga and Zumba classes, handicraft and jewellery-making workshops and participated in events such as the Cowley Road Carnival and the Oxford Mela with other local groups. They have been on outings to the seaside, farms, and outdoor centres and have run holiday activity camps at Rose Hill Community Centre open to all children in the local area.

The group organised for some of the women to complete their food hygiene certificates and several have gone on to start a successful catering business.

The group continues to seek opportunities for their members to come together and develop their skills whilst always looking for ways to give back to the local community that has supported them during their resettlement.

Support network for refugee women and their families who have relocated to Oxford

to help them integrate into their new community. We aim to enable women with social, political, cultural or economic reasons for arriving in the UK to meet and share experiences and to bring them together to provide support, develop skills and confidence to enable them to take an active part in the wider community.

Initially funded by Asylum Welcome, we now work with national charities such as the British Red Cross and Oxfam as well as local charities such as Asylum Welcome, Refugee Resource and Aspire to ensure our members are provided with as much support as they need during their transition into the UK.
We currently host a weekly meeting in Rose Hill Community Centre with between 15 and 20 women attending each week. English courses have been run by the University of Oxford, designed for women with babies and small children who have difficulties attending college-based courses. We have also organised lectures on welfare benefits, jobs and how to organise events and activities for community members and the wider public.
An early and important initiative was a 6-week training course in food hygiene which provided the group with a formal certification in Food Safety. This has enabled members of our group to provide catering at community events, as well as at Flo’s Café in Florence Park and as the Damascus Rose Kitchen in the Old Fire Station. In addition to providing some income, it has proved to be a good way for group members to meet and speak with other people in their community. Similarly, members of the group have learned jewellery making from a local resident which they sell on Sundays at the Wolvercote Community Market.
The overall aim of the Syrian Sisters group is to help families arriving from Syrian to learn more about the UK and British culture. We aim to support people with participating in activities and events to integrate them in to the wider community. We want to move beyond the definition of ‘refugee’ and be recognised as valid members of the community who contribute as the individuals that we are.